Albany, NY — The Iona men’s basketball team has fared well at the Times Union Center, posting W’s up against Siena in seven consecutive outings at the Metro Atlantic Athletics Association’s (MAAC) northern most school. And Friday’s showdown with the Saints was no different, as the Gaels improved to 14-8(7-4 MAAC) with the 77-66 victory.
“We love the environment; it’s a great basketball city with an [equally] great fan base,” Iona men’s basketball coach Tim Cluess said post game. ” It’s a terrific place to play whether your the home team or the visiting team.”
Terrific as it is the environment wasn’t enough to light a fire under Siena, who never really seemed into the game right from the start.
“I thought we were gonna come out like gangbusters, play really hard and compete,” Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos said. “That’s [Iona] the defending MAAC Champions. I didn’t really think I had to get my team up for them. But clearly I did a bad job on that so I’ll go back to the drawing board.”
Patsos’ squad 9-13 (6-5 MAAC) now sits in fourth place behind Iona, who took sole control of third courtesy of the win.
With nine contests left to be decided and the MAAC tournament just over a month away, Siena has got to pick things up a bit, something Patsos also spoke of. “This team has been interesting this year. Right when I think we’re gonna play great, we take a step back and don’t play [so] great.”
In the loss, Siena seniors Javion Ogunyemi and Marquis Wright led the way with 16 points apiece, while senior Brett Bisping netted a game-high 14 rebounds. The team will travel to Connecticut for a 7:00 p.m. date with Quinnipiac on Mondy.